As part of the state government’s efforts to eradicate sickle cell disease, Governor Willie Obiano, of Anambra says it will partner churches in the state to ensure that intending couples verify their genotype before marriage to avoid issues of the disease.
At a ceremony to mark this year’s sickle cell day in Awka, the Governor who spoke through his commissioner for health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, said churches would play a major role in the fight against the spread of the disease because of their involvement in joining people as husbands and wives.
Governor Obiano disclosed that the state government would set up sickle cell clinics in the three senatorial districts of the state with state-of-the-art facilities. He explained that people living with the disorder would be treated free of charge under a Health Insurance Scheme that would be launched in the state soon.
“In the Health Insurance Scheme, there is also a provision for treating free of-charge, the vulnerable, including people living with sickle cell disorder as our main target is to eradicate sickle cell anemia completely in this state and that is why we are urging everybody to know his/her genotype.”
The governor maintained that his administration would implement to the letter the Sickle Cell law passed by the State House of Assembly in 2002, which was aimed at mandating intending couples to verify their genotype before marriage.
He stressed that couples who would violate the law would be denied certain privileges by the state government, adding that involving the churches would ensure strict compliance to the law.
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19th of June every year marks the World Sickle Cell Day worldwide. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 in order to increase the awareness about the disease and its cure among the common public.